English Chamber Orchestra

The English Chamber Orchestra (ECO), formed in 1960, is one of the world's most celebrated ensembles. It is London's only full-time chamber orchestra, undertaking a busy schedule of recording sessions and concert appearances at home and abroad, including its prestigious London Concert Series presented by the English Chamber Orchestra & Music Society under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.

The ECO is one of the world's leading chamber orchestras, having performed in more countries than any other orchestra, recorded over 1,200 works and played with the world's greatest soloists in its 45 years of history, including Daniel Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Mstislav Rostropovich. The ECO was the orchestra chosen to inaugurate London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, to play at its Patron HRH The Prince of Wales' wedding in St. Paul's Cathedral and for his 50th Birthday Gala Concert.
The ECO aims to celebrate and build upon its tradition of maintaining the highest international musical standards, nurturing new talent and focusing on the 'best of British' music and musicianship, as well as being the chamber orchestra of choice for many of the world's greatest soloists.
Benjamin Britten, the Orchestra's first Patron, was a tremendous musical influence on the ECO until his death in 1976. The ECO also enjoyed a long relationship with Daniel Barenboim, one of the highlights of which was the performance and recording (EMI) of the complete cycle of Mozart Piano Concertos. The 80s were marked by the appointment of Jeffrey Tate as the ECO's first Principal Conductor (succeeded by Ralf Gothoni in 2000) and recordings of the complete Mozart Symphonies and late Haydn Symphonies along with two further celebrated cycles of the complete Mozart Piano Concertos (recorded for CBS with Murray Perahia and for Phillips with Mitsuko Uchida). The 90s saw an epic series of 21 concerts at London's Barbican Centre - 'Mozart 200' Celebration - containing (in chronological order) Mozart's major works from each year between 1770 and 1791.
This season, in addition to tours to the Far East and across Europe and music cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the Orchestra is continuing its prestigious London Series at the Wigmore Hall and the newly opened Cadogan Hall. Upcoming guest artists include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis and Kiri te Kanawa.
Since its inception the ECO has regularly commissioned new works, the latest being Sir John Tavener's Pratrirupa, which was premiered in London in November 2004.
The ECO is proud of its outreach programme, Close Encounters, which takes music into communities and schools around in London, Bristol and South Africa.

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